, who covers capitol hill for "the new york times." thanks for being back with us. so what's this delay all about? >> well, the senate clearly doesn't want to get embroiled in this issue before the election. it's just too unpredictable and the story line for democrats is clean, as things stand now. they're making the case that republicans would block tax relief for the middle class to hold out for tax break force the wealthy. republicans, of course shall want to extend those tax cuts for everyone. and so it's easier in the view of democrats to push this until a lame duck session. the political situation will obviously be less intense then. but as you said, the house speaker today left open the possibility of forcing a vote. and that could get really interesting next week. >> woodruff: now why the different calculus in the senate and in the house. >> the calculus probably isn't different. the conventional wisdom still is that in the end the house will decide to go home and campaign without taking this vote. but there's no reason for speaker pelosi to relent right now when she thinks she'